Aln Valley Railway Santa Specials Train Review

Today we have another guest post by Amy who took a trip on the Aln Valley Railway during their Santa Specials event. I've always wanted to visit this heritage train ride in Northumberland and after reading this review, think it sounds like fantastic value for money. I love that adults are only charged £3.50 too. Over to Amy: 

Aln Valley Railway Santa Specials Train Review - platform

One of our favourite festive outings so far this year has to be the Santa Special at Aln Valley Railway (or Also known as Lionheart Railway).  Well signposted from the A1, the railway is located at the Lionheart Enterprise Park just outside of Alnwick.  We booked our tickets mid October, and found the tickets really reasonably priced compared to other Santa specials; Children £15 and Adults £3.50.

The car park is free, however can get quite muddy if it’s been wet, so wellies are a good option for footwear!  On arrival we were greeted by cheerful volunteers who guided us to the cafe and told us we’d be collected for our 2.30pm train.  Our tickets had advised to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to departure, so plenty of time to enjoy our complimentary hot drinks in the small portacabin cafĂ© that were included in the ticket price.  More volunteers were on hand helping to make a range of festive crafts, which entertained little fellas while we waited for our train ride.

Aln Valley Railway Santa Specials Train Review - train arrival

The train ride itself was in the tinsel-decked guard’s van, and Christmas music filled the air as a Diesel engine pulled us on a return journey to first see St.Nick before returning to the opposite platform.  It’s not a very long train ride as the track is still being built, but was noticeably longer than previous years.

Aln Valley Railway Santa Specials Train Review - train carriages

Aln Valley Railway Santa Specials Train Review - inside a train carriage

Elves guided us down to the carriages and our boys were greeted onto the train with generous party bags including drinks, snacks, a small craft for my 3 year old, and a teddy penguin for youngest (21 months).  We had a lovely carriage compartment to ourselves where the boys surveyed and enjoyed their treats, before an elf guided us to Santa’s grotto in the next carriage.  A jolly Santa provided the boys with good quality presents; a Rusty Rivets figure and car for 3 year old and a Duplo set for my youngest.  Returning to our carriage, the boys had time to play with their presents until an Elf came to say our train was ready to go, so we hopped back in the guards van for the little ride back jingling all the way!

Aln Valley Railway Santa Specials Train Review

There is nothing fancy or commercial about the Railway, which adds to the charm. Despite being sold out, the whole experience felt personal and relaxed - a must for a authentic and value for money Christmas treat!

Santa Specials have sold out for this year, tickets for next year should go on sale at the beginning of October. If you're looking for something to do between Christmas and New Year, the railway's Mince Pie Specials sounds fab. There's no Santa visit on these trips (as he's having a much-needed rest) but you do get a steam train ride, mince pie and cuppa. You just need to buy your tickets on the day for the Mince Pie Specials and they're super reasonably priced. 

Thanks for the review Amy x

Aln Valley Railway Santa Specials Train Review - ticket prices

Aln Valley Railway Santa Specials Train Review - mince pie specials



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